How do costume jewelry trends develop? There is certainly no shortage of theories, but one important element is the culture, news events, and mood of society that permeates the times. The German term zeitgeist encompasses the idea with a single word that the Oxford dictionary says is defining spirit or mood of a particular era of history.
Is anything more at the center of today's thought than the economy? This has to be a major player in the zeitgeist of the present. Costume jewelry trends can either compliment or contrast the prevalent mood of the times. Somber colors and plain designs can compliment the mood of tough economic times or lavish designs can provide a contrast that uplifts spirits. History provides some remarkable examples.
Costume jewelry history sees a fabulous era of lavish designs that we look back to as The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry. This era spanned the 1930s to the 1960s with fabulous creations. Most of the first half of this era was actually contrasting the mood during The Great Depression and World War II. Is it happening again?
Costume jewelry trends for the fall 2009 seem to indicate so. Let's begin in an unlikely spot for costume jewelry—a fine jewelry show. The JA Show recently held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York exhibited some surprises among the usual selection of fine jewelry. A combination of tight economy and consumer's desire for dramatic jewelry prompted the exhibit of lavish designs that used gold plating and crystals to make the fabulous looks affordable. Fine jewelry is taking a page from costume jewelry with lavish designs that included large dazzling rings, chandelier earrings, and sparkly necklace sets that reinvent The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry.
The fashion jewelry trends for fall 2009 are not going to be left behind in this reawakening of fabulous jewelry. The trends recall the stunning jewelry designs of the glamorous past with a return to chandelier earrings, exquisite necklace sets embellished with crystals, fabulous sparkly hair accessories, and bracelets that revisit the golden era in fashion jewelry. Dramatic size is part of the look as well as motifs from the garden and nature. This spectacular trend in costume jewelry is breath-taking, but it is not the whole story.
Trends see necklace sets moving into a dominant position in costume jewelry. Yes, this is the year of the necklace sets—mainly statement pieces and classic designs. Emphasis has made a subtle change that started in 2008. Accessories Magazine's Annual Report showed bracelets the most important costume jewelry item for department stores in 2007, but necklace sets nudged out bracelets in 2008 and continue to hold the prominent position in 2009.
Think impact this fall in necklace sets. The look is dramatic, although not as outlandish as seen on the runways where exaggeration stresses the upcoming trends. No, the impact in fall trends is necklace sets that make a statement with classic beauty. Gemstones remain important here, but it is not a ho-hum repeat of past seasons. Designers reach out for unusual semi precious stones that captivate attention in imaginative jewelry. The endless variety of agates and jasper play a part here. In addition human enhancement of natural gemstones will deliver new colors.
Long swinging necklaces continue to hold a powerful position in fashion trends and gemstone stations as well as other beading deliver the look separated with spans of chain in different textures and link shapes. Necklaces appear in multiples that mix and match using plenty of chain spacing that is predominantly silver plated although gold plating continues to make inroads. The colors of fall also like gunmetal and pewter plating—these platings effect all elements of costume jewelry for fall including bracelets and earrings.
Not everything is long in statement necklaces. Shorter, chunkier necklace sets are also important in fall trends. The one-of-a-kind look with a handcrafted appearance falls into this category. Plated metal jewelry that shows a hammered finish as well as freeform and contemporary designs give a one-of-a-kind impression. Dramatic size is the trend this season in these necklace sets.
One-of-a-kind looks also go tribal for the fall season. With Boho and tribal prints returning, the primitive look in accessories will have a stronger presence using rawhide, clay beads, glass, and tribal designs. Some of the fall season's colors like honey yellow and burnt sienna fall naturally into the color schemes of tribal prints.
Still classic looks rate high in fall trends for costume jewelry so those classy chunky necklace sets that make use of gemstones, ceramics, and quality glass beading will capture the most attention and show up in more of the showcases of upscale retailers. With accessories taking a prominent position in fashion sales, expect fashion jewelry to be the major way of adding the season's color to an outfit—even last year's apparel. Pantone's color report for fall 2009 reveals these colors are anything but gloomy and every color on the fall palette can find a gemstone to deliver it in a classic way.
Earth tones like Nomad, Iron, and Crème Brulee find easy compliments with jaspers and tiger's eye or contrast with unakite. Expect coral back with scarlet red showing up in American Beauty. Other colors on the palette are mostly secondary colors that easily find matches like rutilated quartz to go with Honey Yellow.
Quality glass including Murano style glass can deliver even more colors in fashion jewelry. This is breath-taking classic that we will truly miss if it ever leaves fashion.
Glass as well as gemstones and other beading also contribute to fabulous looks in bracelets that are a close second to necklace sets in popularity. More important than beading is cuffs and bangles in bracelets this fall. How can we miss the bangles running up both arms seen if fashion magazines and on the runways? Cuffs are equally as important with colors, embedded stones, hammered and textured metals, and prints delivered with lucite or enamel.
Earrings follow the trend towards dramatic statements with oversized hoops and chandeliers that have already been mentioned. Large crystals in retro deigns or fabulous gemstones providing color from nature deliver the impact that is such a big part of trends this season.
A few major currents cannot capture all the costume jewelry trends for fall. Other tangents include biker looks, geometric designs, and the use of fringe. Uptrending is classic charms, especially old fashioned keys, used in tassels and as slides. A surprise is a nautical and ship story bringing colors and designs into fall accessories. Black and white combinations are especially big here. Less shocking is engraved messages on bracelets, pendants, and sometimes earrings that lift the spirits with warm or inspirational words and phrases.
The fall trends in costume jewelry seem to say the human spirit is too resilient to be put down by weighty economic worries. The exuberance of costume jewelry uses lavish designs, statement pieces, and a color palette brighter than anyone would expect for fall even in good times. Costume jewelry this fall rebels against worry with an enthusiasm that will delight consumers, rejuvenate apparel, and lift spirits.